QB Case Keenum (12.15.21)

On his and the team’s mindset after a number of Browns personnel were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 this week ahead of Saturday’s game:

“I think it really has hit everybody in stride – maybe not the guys who got put on the list – but for the guys who are now really getting an opportunity, I think it is all eyes forward. Everybody is looking forward. Everybody is ready to go, getting ready to go and doing the best they can. It may be a lot more mental work as we do things more virtually, and everybody has to be a pro and get ready to do their job on their own. We are looking nowhere but forward. We have no time or energy to look behind us.”


On QB Baker Mayfield being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and how well Mayfield was coming along physically and performed after the bye week:

“It is never fun to be in a position where you are ruled out or can’t play. Obviously, this is a special circumstance with all of this COVID and it is brand new over the last couple of years. It is never fun, especially when you feel pretty good. That is what is unfortunate. I think you guys all saw how healthy he looked last week. I thought he played really, really well. He did a great job distributing the ball and making some big plays for us and closed the game out for us. It is a good time to be playing good football, but we can’t look back; we are looking forward. We are on to the Raiders.”


On the Raiders defense:

“It is a solid defense. Starting up front, they play hard. They are good at pass rush. They are a really sound defense. They line up and play their gaps very, very well. On the back end, they are well-coached. You can tell that just by all of the different looks that different teams in that division give them, including the Chiefs. It is going to be a challenge for us because they run what they run, and they do it really well. We have to do a good job of identifying, winning our matchups and being where guys are supposed to be.”


On if the NFL needs to reexamine its testing policy and return-to-play policy related to COVID-19:

“That is not my deal. I do not have a feeling either way. I guess really say. I can’t really say on that. That is not my job.”


On the potential for the Browns to not have a full practice prior to Saturday’s game:

“That is about what we got when I played last time with Thursday Night Football. I know guys are ready to go. We have a good gameplan coming in. I think the coaches are preparing us well and doing everything we possibly can mentally to go through the reps in our head and be ready to go for all of the different looks that these guys can give us.”


On how much starting the Broncos game earlier this year helps him heading into Saturday’s game:

“Any time you can get experience in this league, it is priceless – any time you can get snaps and any time you can work on your craft, especially when you have done it in the game with live reps. I have a lot of confidence with the guys who I have up front, the guys on the outside and the running backs. I think we have the right guys in the right places to get the job done. We feel confident in that.”


On the uniqueness of this week compared to other situations he has experienced in the past:

“It is pretty unique. I would say nothing really surprises me about the NFL these days, though. It just kind of adds one more thing to the portfolio, if you will, of just strange occurrences and different situations that come up. That is why you just prepare every day to be ready to go when your number is called, and it looks like that number is getting called.”


On the Browns offense’s plan to prepare for the Raiders defensive front with expected changes to the Browns OL:

“I feel very good about it. I think the coaches are doing a good job. We mix up a lot of different things from run, pass, to play action, run action, keeper game, moving the pocket and moving the protections. We are very multiple and versatile so I feel good about the gameplan the coaches are putting together, and I feel good about the guys who are in place to execute it. I think we are doing the absolute best we can to prepare the best we can, and we are going to go out there and feel really confident with what we have going on.”


On expecting to start this week with RB Nick Chubb in the backfield, given Chubb was not available for the Broncos game:

“Who (laughter)? Yeah, having a full Chubb back there is going to be really good.”


On his forward-looking mindset, how much of that comes from Head Coach Kevin Stefanski and his relationship with Stefanski:

“I think a lot of that mindset comes from him. I think they have gotten guys here, him and (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew (Berry), who are workers, who love football, who love to go to work every day and who have gone through a lot. There are a lot of guys on the team with a lot of different stories, and we all bring those to the team. That is what makes a team special is being so different. As far as this specific deal, with virtual meetings and stuff, it is not quite as many interactions and obviously, really no face-to-face interactions. As far as meeting times and stuff, we are crossing every ‘t’ and dotting every ‘i’ like we do every week. I do not think anybody is blinking an eye when it comes to the amount of preparation the coaches are putting in for this for us.”


On what makes him the right person and player built for this type of situation:

“I think a lot of things. I think my skillset, the history of my football game, where I have been taught, my training with different coaches and the situations I have been in. Like I said earlier, I think experience is priceless, and I have had a lot of experience and a lot of different situations. I have looked back at each of those – some good and some bad. I did some things right. I did a lot of things that I would do differently. You learn and grow from it. That is what experience does. That is what you use from it. I am taking all of those things, I wrap them up and I put them in my toolbelt, and it makes me who I am. I go out each day with the confidence knowing all of those things that I have done in the past and all of the work that I put in each and every day this year, last year and my whole career. I get to go put it on the line and enjoy doing what I love to do, and that is play football. All of those things combined with confidence in my teammates and relationships I have built with them. It is a fun game. We are getting paid to play football, and there are a lot of other external things out there that tend to make you forget about it, but on Saturday – rain, snow, sleet or whatever comes our way, which it looks like it is going to be a fun one – we get to go out there and throw the football around. I am excited to do that.”


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